Check Out Andalucian

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJgr_mwcR1g]
Contrary to popular belief, Andalucian is not a dialect of Spanish, but his is very confusing. There is something called Andalusian Spanish. This is what the announcer in this video is speaking.
I can understand Spanish pretty well, but this guy is almost incomprehensible, and this is just a mere dialect. I showed it to two friends who have some Spanish comprehension as most White native Californians do. One thought it was Romanian and the other thought it was Italian. If you understand Spanish, Romanian, Portuguese or any Romance language, see how much of this Andalucian you can get.
However, there is more to the story. In the vignettes in this video, you will see people speaking something altogether different, not a dialect of Spanish, but a full-blown separate language altogether, Andalucian. True, it is not recognized by Ethnologue yet, but it ought to be. Part of the problem is Spanish fascist nationalism that will not tolerate any more languages in Spain.
So far, Catalan, Basque, Occitan and Galician are recognized, but many others, such as Extremaduran, Asturian, Asturian, Fala, Portuguese, Aragonese and Leonese are not. Andalucian is another one, in this case not even recognized as a language by the ISO yet.
Andalucian has a heavy Arabic influence and in particular an influence for Mozarabic, which is an extinct form of heavily Arabized Spanish.

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2 thoughts on “Check Out Andalucian”

  1. Well, I wouldn’t consider it a separate language but certainly as a dialect with a strong personality…
    First of all it’s a matter of historical perspective, when people from Spain and Portugal talk about the Romance languages of Iberia we tend to consider only “proper languages” the ones that have evolved directly from vulgar Latin (such as Galician-Portuguese, Asturian, Aragonese, Catalan and Spanish-Castilian…), not the dialects that were a consequence of repopulation after the “Reconquista” (thus, Valencian is considered a dialect of Catalan since it was brought by Catalan settlers; and Andalusian, Canarian or Latin American Spanish, dialects from Castilian-Spanish since they were brought by Castilian-Spanish settlers).
    It might be a prejudice, because this criterium is rather arbitrary and not scientific, but that’s the way we tend to see the difference between language and dialect it in the iberian peninsula (language: directly evolved from Latin ; dialect: brought by settlers after the reconquista).
    The way Mozarabic (the romance language spoken in the part of Spain occupied by arabs during the middle ages) has influenced Andalusian Spanish remains a bit unclear. I’d rather say Andalusian is Castilian-Spanish spoken with a strong mozarabic accent. But it is also true that Andalusian keeps some grammatical and phonetic features that come from old Spanish and that have been lost in Northern Spain (standard Castilian-Spanish). So it is a bit difficult to know what comes from Mozarabic and what might come from old Castilian.
    It is true that if you’re not used to hearing it, Andalusian can be quite difficult to understand. By the way many features of Andalusian are present in Latin American Spanish since most settlers came from southern Spain.
    Also, I would name it “southern Spanish” rather than andalusian since there is not a single “andalusian” but various dialects with common features (“seseo”, “ceceo”, aspirated “h”…) that you can also find in other regions like Murcia or Extremadura. My grandmother was from eastern Andalusia (Granada, Jaén, Almería…) and her way of speaking was quite different from the man we see in the video, who speaks western Andalusian (Sevilla, Córdoba, Huelva).
    When my grandmother moved to Barcelona my mother was only 5 years old. My mother is bilingual (Spanish-Catalan) and the Spanish that she speaks is Castilian-Spanish (the one she learnt from school and TV) not the Andalusian Spanish that she heard from her parents and older relatives. Me and my siblings always spoke to my grandmother in Castilian Spanish and she would reply in Andalusian Spanish. We never found any difficulty in understanding each other… well, the only thing is that me and my siblings spoke to each other in Catalan and my grandmother didn’t understand a word of it, so we had to switch to Spanish when we were in front of her (my relatives from the father’s side are all Catalan speakers and my mother was also a fluent Catalan speaker before she met my father, although it’s not her primary mother tongue).
    I’d say the situation in Andalusia is rather a diglossic one: everybody uses andalusian Spanish as oral language, but castilian Spanish is the language of written media and TV and Radio, which mainly come from Madrid. Many andalusian celebrities change their accent depending on the situation, Antonio Banderas is a good example of it.
    Sorry for the long comment but I thought you might find it interesting.

    1. One can make a case that Andalusian Spanish is just a dialect. Incomprehensible to me, but understandable to many Spaniards. This is what the announcer is speaking.
      However, Spaniards have told me that there is another language spoken in Andalusia – Andalusian. That is the language of the street, the real, hardcore Andalusian. This is the language that the speakers in the vignettes are speaking. Native Castillian speaking Spaniards from the north – the Basque Country – have told me that this hardcore pure Andalusian is 99% incomprehensible to them.

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